25 user 12 critic

The Pawnshop (1916)

Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Pawnbroker's Assistant
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Pawnbroker
Edna Purviance ... Pawnbroker's Daughter
John Rand ... Other Assistant
Albert Austin ... Client with Clock
Eric Campbell ... Crook
James T. Kelley James T. Kelley ... Old Bum (as James T Kelley)
Frank J. Coleman ... Policeman


Charlie, the not-so-punctual and dependable pawnbroker's assistant, starts his day with his usual duties at the pawnshop--a bit of dusting; some polishing up, and above all, a lot of quarrelling with his co-worker. Before long, a customer arrives--what a fabulous opportunity for Charlie to exhibit his subtle technical skills, and to give his critical scientific evaluation with the use of a rusty can-opener. Then, another client comes, eager to see the diamonds; however, could he be a wolf in sheep's clothing? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


During an early scene, attention is drawn to the calendar on the pawnshop wall, which displays a date of Thursday, March 16. March 16 fell on a Thursday in 1916--the year this movie was made--and it is entirely possible that the scene in question was filmed on the actual date. See more »

Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1915 - 1917. They are presented by David Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and has a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael Mortilla who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 25 minutes. See more »


Featured in Charlie Chaplin: The Little Tramp (1980) See more »

User Reviews

One of Chaplin's Best
27 October 2005 | by wadetaylorSee all my reviews

This is definitely one of Chaplin's top 5 or 6 shorts. The part with Albert Austin and the clock is just so hilarious, and I really like the end of that bit where the drunk gets pushed down, just because it makes no sense.

I think this is the exact point in Chaplin's oeuvre in which he matured to the point in which he could make masterpieces. Don't get me wrong I like many of his earlier shorts, but everything he did from this point on could be argued as a masterpiece of comic cinema.

It is true that there isn't a great amount of pathos in this one, but I like the fact that there a just so many ridiculous situations that come one after the other. A+ grade.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

2 October 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At the Sign of the Dollar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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